Ahead of the Great Deletion, Flickr has a decent export tool built in to the user settings page. You click the export button, wait a day or two for an email, and then get some ZIP files to download.
I posted a little summary of what’s in the exports on Metafilter. Long story short, I think it’s pretty much all the data and metadata Flickr has. Here’s an expanded version of it:
- 4 zip files are my photos
- Photos are in JPG format with EXIF tags. I’m not positive but I believe these are the original bits I uploaded from my camera, or something similar. There is a lot of EXIF data intact.
- Filenames are the title of the photo (downcased) plus the photo’s Flickr ID
- File timestamps are bogus dates in 2013/2014
- 1 zip file with a bunch of JSON files
- Most of the JSON files are one file per photo that includes Flickr metadata. Photo title, description, time, tags, geotags, comments on the photo, etc.
- Several other JSON files with things like all the comments I’ve made, JSON data for my photo albums (a collection of photos), etc.
Conversion tool plan
I’m not aware of any tools that do much with this Flickr metadata, but I haven’t looked hard. I’ve considered writing my own minimal one with an eye towards extracting all the most important metadata from the JSON and stuffing it in EXIF tags. Ideally the resulting JPG files would then look reasonable when imported into Google Photos and/or Lightroom. Some specifics:
- Set the JPG filename from the JSON photo title more nicely than Flickr did
- Set the JPG file timestamp to the creation date in the EXIF data. If there is no EXIF timestamp, then take something from the Flickr JSON.
- Insert Flickr’s JSON geotags from the photo into an EXIF geotag (if one doesn’t exist). I geocoded a bunch of photos by hand in Flickr, I’d really like to preserve that data
- Insert Flickr’s JSON name and description tags into the EXIF in appropriate textual fields.
- Insert Flickr’s tags into the EXIF; is there an appropriate field?
- Capture Flickr comments from the JSON into the EXIF?
- Flickr JSON has a “people” tag but I don’t think I’ve ever used it.